Sunday, January 3, 2010


This blessed Epiphany (yes, we’re early—the traditional date is 6 January) we know how badly our world needs the Light of Christ—the light proclaimed as a light of revelation and glory (Luke 2:32).

But there is an implication for us. The brilliant New Testament scholar N. T. Wright (also the Anglican Bishop of Durham, in England) makes the point that the message of Jesus was to call Israel back to its original mission: to be a light for the world. When it got too caught up in the world (as it did many times in its history), disaster struck. Jesus’ proclamation was one which formed people into a Church that would be dedicated to being this light—a light revealing forgiveness, reconciliation, and love. As a body it would be a suffering Servant, but the suffering would be redemptive, united in Him.

This means that we, insofar as we are Church, are called to this very same vocation: to be a light of healing for the world, a witness of community that is the potential of all human community, if they would only face the Light.

We know this doesn’t always happen, nor will it—this was known pretty well from the beginning (John 3:16-21). That doesn’t mean it isn’t still our calling. The famous Prayer of St. Teresa (set to music by John Michael Talbot) reminds us, “Christ has no body now, but yours…”

In the spirit of the cheer the Light brings us, here is a setting of THE carol of the day—in live concert by Mannheim Steamroller:

And for good measure, here's John Michael Talbot's song, as well. Let's be His Body in 2010, as Pope Leo the Great (5th century) wrote:
...the star beckoned the three wise men out of their distant country and led them to recognize and adore the King of heaven and earth. The obedience of the star calls us to imitate its humble service: to be servants, as best we can, of the grace that invites all to find Christ.
Dear friends, you must have the same zeal to be of help to one another; then, in the kingdom of God, to which faith and good works are the way, you will shine as children of the light: through our Lord Jesus Christ...

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